Historicising the Concept of Europe in Global History. WORCK Conference 2 / ELHN Conference 4

Historicising the Concept of Europe in Global History. WORCK Conference 2 / ELHN Conference 4

COST Action “Worlds of Related Coercions in Work (WORCK)”; European Labour History Network (ELHN)
hybrid (Wien)
Vom - Bis
30.08.2021 - 03.09.2021
Url der Konferenzwebsite
Teresa Petrik, Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, Universität Wien

From 30 August to 3 September, the joint conference of the COST Action “Worlds of Related Coercions in Work (WORCK)” and the European Labour History Network (ELHN) in Vienna brought together labour historians from two networks aiming to enable collaborative research amongst scholars from all over Europe and beyond. The European Labour History Network (ELHN) was founded in 2013 and has since hosted biennial conferences, structured around its Working Groups. The COST Action WORCK is an international network, which initially emerged out of the Working Group “Free and Unfree Labour” of the European Labour History Network. The conceptual goal of the network is to study labour and power relations in different time periods, world regions and social context through the analytical lens of coercion, in order to link the stories of work and production with those of violence, expropriation and marginalisation, and bridge the gaps between hitherto separate subfields in labour and social history.

The first three days of the conference were dedicated to the activities and individual projects of the working groups of both networks, while the last one and a half days were devoted to a specific topic of the WORCK network: Under the title “Historicising the Concept of Europe in Global History”, WORCK invited for a discussion on the conceptual role of Europe in global labour history. The conference sought to provide an environment for a much-needed conversation on these fundamental topics in social, labour and global history, and was driven by the aim of contributing to a more differentiated view on Europe in debates on master narratives and inequalities in global history. In terms of its format, the conference was designed to foster exchange and conversation. This was notable especially on the fourth day, where rather than traditional panels, there were three thematic panels, each featuring input from invited speakers and discussants. In each roundtable, the plenary discussion was structured by key questions and key words, connecting the various inputs to the central theme of the conference. A reader collecting central texts selected by the invited speakers was circulated beforehand amongst the participants, in order to facilitate a more focused joint discussion.

The conference provided a rich and diverse programme, with up to nine different sessions taking place parallel. Overall, the event entailed 81 parallel sessions. 361 participants from 43 countries all over the world took part in the event, both onsite at the Campus of the University of Vienna, as well as online. The whole conference was realised in an innovative hybrid-setting, connecting around 100 participants onsite at the campus of the University of Vienna with more than 250 online participants. Digital tools were incorporated in the session themselves, but also used to enable the online participants to take part in social and networking activities, such as a virtual tour of Vienna, or daily virtual coffee breaks.

A large part of the conference was composed of panels organised by the fourteen Working Groups of the European Labour History Network, demonstrating its wide thematic scope: Central-East Europe, European Trade Unionism, Factory History, Feminist Labour History, Labour and Empire, Labour and Family Economy, Labour in Mining, Labour Migration History, Maritime Labour History, Military Labour, Memory and Deindustrialisation, Remuneration and Bargaining, Workers’ Education and The Cultural Production of Work. Those panels consisted of paper presentations by the Working Groups’ members, and allowed for discussions on recent research in each sub-field of Labour History. Apart from these sessions, the conference was framed a variety of different formats, which will be further explored in the following section.

The conference was opened by JULIANE SCHIEL (Vienna) and SILKE NEUNSINGER (Swedish Labour Movement’s Archive and History), representing the two hosting networks. After this introduction, JANINE DAHINDEN (Neuchâtel) gave a lecture on the concept of “entangled mobilities” in order to analyse the embeddedness of individual mobilities within asymmetrical power relations. In the afternoon, with the opening of the exhibition “Stories of Work and Coercion: Scientific Contributions Depicted in Illustrations” by CORINNA PERES (Vienna) and ANAMARIJA BATISTA (Vienna), an innovative project which aims to bring scientific and artistic perspectives into dialogue by translating textual narratives about coercion in work into illustrations was presented. The vernissage provided space for discussion with both authors and illustrators. Lászlo Andor ÁSZLÓ ANDOR ended the first conference day with a keynote on “Social Rights in Europe and the East-West-Gap”, addressing the role of EU policies in battling social and economic inequalities within Europe.

The conference also sought to give room for training and reflection on methodological questions, with a two-part workshop by SILKE SCHWANDT (Bielefeld), PATRICK JENTSCH (Bielefeld) and TOBIAS HODEL (Bern) on the utilisation of digital humanities methods and tools for historical analysis. In this session, the possibilities and limitations of digital tools were debated, the workflow tool NOPAQUE, which enables text recognition and semantical analysis, was introduced, and the possibilities of publishing data on the WORCK Publication Platform1 were discussed.

A roundtable on “Working Conditions under Covid-19” brought together activists, trade unionists and researchers to discuss the changes in global labour relations induced by the Covid-19 pandemic. JANHAVI DAVE (HomeNet International), FLAVIA MATEI (IG24 – Interest Group of 24h Care Givers) and WOLFGANG GREIF (Austrian Trade Union Federation / Trade Union GPA) talked about the challenges workers are facing in their respective sector of organising, while CATALINA BENAVENTE (Swedish Labour Movement Archives and Library) and TINA PLASIL-LASCHOBER (Österreichische Mediathek) discussed challenges in documenting these working conditions to enable analysis not only for current social scientists, but also for future historians.

The topic of seasonal labour was a recurring theme during the conference: A screening of the film “Obrani Berači”, followed by a discussion with the film maker MILICA LUPŠOR (Roza) and historian GORAN MUSIĆ (Vienna) gave insight into the situation of seasonal workers in Vojvodina and the fight for women’s labour rights, and gave room to debate on the issues of the organisation of labour relations and social security.

After three days of a variety of parallel sessions, the fourth day was structured in a more compact manner, allowing for a focused plenary discussion on the main theme of the conference, “Historicising the Concept of Europe in Global History". The objective of this discussion was to deconstruct and disentangle European history as the subject of all histories and suggest the possibility to write connected histories of the processes of social inequality and labour coercion that emerged from various parts of the world in distinct periods.

After a welcome address by the COST Action chairs JULIANE SCHIEL (Vienna) and JOHAN HEINSEN (Aalborg), who introduced the theme of “Historicising the concept of Europe”, MARGARETHE LANZIGER (Vienna) talked about how social inequalities are researched at the University of Vienna and gave insights into the interdisciplinary research group “Figurations of Inequality” at the University of Vienna.

Following, the first of the thematic panels offered a perspective on “Historical Perspectives on Social Inequality in Europe”. GUIDO ALFANI (Milan) talked about long-term trends in economic inequalities and the distribution of wealth in pre-modern Europe, followed by a comment by DIETLIND HÜCHTKER (Vienna). At the next panel, discussants MANUELA BOATCĂ (Freiburg) and DEVI SACCHETTO (Padua) raised questions of contemporary inequalities within Europe, aiming to connect historical perspectives to current debates within the social sciences, and especially post-colonial critiques. By introducing the idea of “Creolizing Europe”; Boatcă encouraged a conceptualisation of Europe that reflects its persistent entanglements with its colonial possessions. The third panel engaged with the issue of servitude and household service in both European and Global History, and brought together contributions by MARIA ÅGREN (Uppsala), who presented her research on the intersection of gender and labour relations in rural Europe, and NITIN VARMA (Berlin), who problematised the label of “domestic service” as a coherent category.

A roundtable with activists from the initiative SEZONIERI, a campaign for the rights of agricultural workers in Austria, once again raised the issue of seasonal labour, and aimed at connecting academic debates on coerced labour to current issues of exploitation and social rights in labour relations.

The conference closed with a final discussion of the participants of the WORCK network, where the contributions of the preceding days were connected and reflected upon in regards to the overall aim of the network to write new histories of work through the lens of coercion. A focal point of the discussion surrounded current conceptual and methodological challenges in labour history, and the possibilities of exploring new ways of research through the establishment on a collaborative data base. Moreover, the further development of the network, which will conclude with a final conference in 2023, was discussed.

The WORCK Conference 2 / ELHN Conference 4 successfully provided a space for bringing together scholars studying labour relations across time and space. While there was a great diversity in different topics, the event was not limited to the discussion of current outcomes of research, but was able to facilitate more fundamental conceptual and methodological discussion surrounding the possibilities and challenges of researching labour and coercion from a global perspective. It also offered space for (self-)reflection on Eurocentrism within labour and social history, and tried to move towards conceptualising Europe differently. While the hybrid format certainly was challenging at times, it also succeeded in offering more scholars from all over the world the opportunity to participate, and made the conference even more diverse.

Conference overview:

Exhibition Opening: Stories of Work and Coercion Scientific Contributions Depicted in Illustrations
Chairs: Anamarija Batista (Vienna University of Business and Economics/ Academy of Fine Arts Vienna) / Corinna Peres (University of Vienna)
Discussants: Dariia Kuzmych (illustrator) / Monika Lang (illustrator) / Tim Robinson (illustrator) / Anna Hofbauer (exhibition designer)

ELHN Keynote
Chair: Susan Zimmermann (Central European University, Vienna)
László Andor (Secretary General, Foundation for European Progressive Studies / former EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion): Social Rights in Europe and the East-West Gap

WORCK Lecture
Chair: Vilhelm Vilhelmsson (University of Iceland)
Janine Dahinden (Université de Neuchâtel): From a “mobility lens” towards the concept of entangled mobilities


Silke Schwandt (Bielefeld University) / Patrick Jentsch (Bielefeld University): How to Publish on the WORCK Publication Platform
Tobias Hodel (University of Bern) / Silke Schwandt (Bielefeld University): How to Use Digital Tools for Historical Analysis
Claude Chevaleyre (École Normale Superieure, Lyon) / Juliane Schiel (University of Vienna) (Chairs): Writers’ Workshop: OeZG Special Issue: Grammars of Coercion. A Historical Semantics Approach for Labour and Social History
Biljana Stojić (University of Belgrade) / Claudia Bernardi (Roma Tre University) (Chairs): Writers’ Workshop: Collected volume: To Move or Not to Move? Historical Perspectives on Labour, Coercion, and Im / Mobilities (16th – 20th c.)
Johan Heinsen (Aalborg University) / Juliane Schiel (University of Vienna) (Chairs): Writers Workshop: Past & Present Supplement: Labour and Coercion. Doing Social History after the Global Turn

Roundtable Discussions

Working Conditions under Covid-19
Chair: Silke Neunsinger (Swedish Labour Movement Archives and Library)

Discussants: Catalina Benavente (Swedish Labour Movement Archives and Library) / Janhavi Dave (HomeNet International) / Wolfgang Greif (Austrian Trade Union Federation/Trade Union GPA) / Flavia Matei (Interest Group of 24h Care Givers) / Tina Plasil-Laschober (Österreichische Mediathek)

Film Screening and Roundtable on Capital Accumulation and Labour Rights in NS Germany, Yugoslavia, and Today’s Serbia
Chairs: Anamarija Batista (Vienna University of Economics and Business / Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna), Isidora Grubacki (Central European University, Vienna)

Screening of the film “Obrani berači” by Milica Lupšor and Branislav Markuš
Goran Musić (University of Vienna): Making and Breaking the Yugoslav Working Class
Panel discussion with Milica Lupšor (Roza) / Goran Musić (University of Vienna)

Sezonieri: A Campaign for the Rights of Agricultural Workers in Austria

Chair: Teresa Petrik (University of Vienna)
Discussants: Elisa Kahlhammer (Sezonieri Campaign) / Susi Haslinger (Trade Union PRO-GE)

ELHN Panels

The Seafaring Labour Market in Times of Crisis
Chair: Enric García-Domingo (University of Barcelona)

Petros Kastrinakis (University of Crete): Cretan Muslim sailors and ship owners in the second half of the 19th century
Kapokakis Alkiviadis (University of Crete): The merchant marine labour market in 19th century Greece: Mapping the workforce in times of crisis
Apostolos Delis (Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymno): Greek maritime labour in transition, from sailing ships to cargo steamers, 1860s –1910s
Justine Cousin (Université de Paris IV Sorbonne): Maritime coloured labour in times of crisis (1905-1919): From the Aliens Act to race riots
Jeremy Young (Historical Society of Guadeloupe, Basse-Terre): Failure of forced maritime labour? The French manning crisis of the Seven Years War

Labour Regimes in the Colonial and Semi-Colonial South
Chair: Yann Béliard (Université Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle)

Alejandro Gomez-Pernia (Université de Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle): Forms of coerced labour and challenges against them in Spanish America, 18th to early 20th centuries
Amelia Spooner (Columbia University, New York): A new regime of labour for a new republic? The Commission du régime du travail aux colonies (1872-1875)

Labour, Migration, and the State: Critical Assessments and Comparisons I
Chair: Yannis Papadopoulos (University of Brasilia)

Rory Archer (University of Konstanz/ University of Graz) / Sara Bernard (University of Glasgow) / Yannis Papadopoulos (University of Brasilia): Introduction to the Working Group
Ritesh Kumar Jaiswal (University of Delhi): The Maistry system of Indian migration to Burma: A critical assessment (c. 1880-1940)
David Leconte (Université Le Havre, Normandie): Indentured migrations Mascarene Islands, 1839-1843: A new configuration of labour, migration, and the state

Workers’ Education during the Interwar Period
Chair: Jenny Jansson (Uppsala University)

Pushpa Kumbhat (Independent Researcher): Students, teachers, and leaders in the Workers’ Educational Association and labour colleges: Perspectives at the centre and periphery of workers’ education (Britain, 1903-1939)
Jenny Jansson (Uppsala University): Producing politicians? Study activities in political youth wings
Kostas Paloukis (University of Crete): The student movement and the archeiomarxist Red Schools in Greece (1929–1933)
Elen Cocaign (Université de Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint-Denis): Selling books, spreading ideas: Left-wing booksellers as political educators in interwar Britain

The European Integration of Industry Federations
Chair: Claude Roccati (Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Johanna Wolf (Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main / International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam): Glocal tensions: European metalworkers during the shipbuilding crisis in the 1970s and 1980s
Dimitri Zurstrassen (Université de Paris IV Sorbonne / Université catholique de Louvain): The contribution of national trade unions to the elaboration of a new legal framework during the European steel crisis (1975–1980)
Pierre Toussenot (Université de Lorraine): The CFDT’s industrial policy and the steel industry crisis

Interrogating the Global Colour Line
Chair: Adrien Rodd (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines)

Lorenzo Costaguta (Bristol University): Socialism and the construction of a global white consciousness: Race and colonialism in the Second International (1889–1914)
Joe Redmayne (Newcastle University): Militancy and whiteness amongst the working people of county Durham, 1919: A multi-occupational approach
Justine Cousin (Paris): Colonial labour aboard British steamships: Control and contestation (1900–1960)

Fordism in Translation: A View from the Periphery
Chair: Görkem Akgöz (Humboldt University)

Lars K. Christensen (Museums of Elsinore): Fordism transformed through the periphery
Josefine Carla Hoffman (University of Göttingen): Perspectives on labour relations at an Indo-German engineering factory
Christos Karampatsos (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) / Polyxeni Malisova (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) / Eva Masoura (University of West Attica, Athens): Machinery introduction as tacit Taylorism: Four factories in Greece, 1900–1940

Military Labour: What, Why, Who, and How?
Chair: Bettina Blum (Paderborn University)

Pratyay Nath (Ashoka University Sonipat): What is “military labour”? Perspectives from Mughal South Asia
Lawrence T. McDonnell (Iowa State University, Ames): The other side of glory: Battle as military labour in the American Civil War
Christine de Matos (The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney): Military men at home: Masculinities and the occupied domestic space
Holger Droessler (Worcester Polytechnic Institute): Servicing the occupiers: Sex work in the Vietnam War

Shipbuilding and Workforce
Chair: Jordi Ibarz (University of Barcelona)

Kalliopi Vasilaki (University of Crete / Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymno): Reshaping a port: The shipyards of Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes in La Ciotat, state policies, and the formation of a new labour market (1851–1916)
Leonardo Scavino (University of Genoa): Maritime labour in times of crisis: The case-study of Camogli in the 19th century
Eleni Kyramargiou (Institute of Historical Research / National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens): Moments of the crisis in the shipbuilding industry in the wider area of Pireus
Eduard Page Campos (University of Barcelona): Shipbuilding and ship repairlabour in the transition from wood to iron: The Catalan coast experience

Labour, Migration, and the State: Critical Assessments and Comparisons II
Chair: Yannis Papadopoulos (University of Brasilia)

Sagarika Naik (University of Delhi): Migration matters: Reconceptualising South Asian labour mobility
Domna Iordanidou (Historical Archive of Macedonia, Thessaloniki / University of Ioannina): Polish miners in Greece? A forgotten history of labour migration
Nadia Latif (Smith College, Massachusetts): Refugee livelihoods and the continuum of forced-voluntary migration

The Labour Movement in East-Central Europe after 1989: Crisis, Opportunities, Perspectives
Chair: Tibor Valuch (Eszterházy Károly University of Eger)

Till Hilmar (University of Bremen): Post-1989 narratives of loss and resilience at work among East German and Czech care workers
Péter Alabán (Gábor Áron College): The symbol of poverty: “Nookminers” in mining colonies in the North-East of Hungary after 1989
Eszter Bartha (Technische Universität Dresden / Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest): “What kind of life is this?”:The heterogeneous working-class experience of the new, capitalist regime in Hungary
Marta Kahancova (Central European Labour Studies Institute, Bratislava): Unions and non-union actors in CEE labour rights – allies or enemies?

Workers’ Education, Social Mobility, and Industrial Relations
Chair: Jonas Söderqvist (Uppsala University)

Jonas Söderqvist (Uppsala University): A college for the people: Social mobility among folk college students in Sweden, 1906–1921
Bamidele Mathew Onibaniyi (Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, Ilorin): Nigerian workers and trade unions education: The pivotal role of a tripartite labour institute
Alice Garner and Mary Leahy (Melbourne Graduate School of Education), Anthony Forsyth and Renee Burns (RMIT University, Melbourne): A bold experiment: participatory learning and trade union training in Australia, 1976–1996
Adekunle Tinuoye (Micheal Imoudu National Institute For Labour Studies, Ilorin): Workers’ education in Nigeria: The roles of MINILS

Women as Workers, Peasants, and Property Owners in 19th Century Rural Europe
Chair: Susan Zimmermann (Central European University, Vienna)

Discussant: Maria Papathanasiou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
Josep Colomé-Ferrer (University of Barcelona): Peasant women in the vineyards of southern Europe in the 19th century
Elli Leventaki (Athens School of Fine Arts): Women as labourers and creatives in the late-19th century Greek provinces: The “Ergane Athena” Association
Carolina Uppenberg (Lund University) / Malin Nilsson (Lund University): Gendered divisions of labour among rural households during the industrial revolution: Evidence from 19th-century Sweden

Remembering Toxic Pasts? Memory, Deindustrialisation, and the Environment I
Chair: Christian Wicke (Utrecht University)

Pierre Botcherby (University of Warwick): Community involvement in post-industrial environmental regeneration in St. Helens, the North-West, and England: Operation Groundwork
James P. Ferns (University of Strathclyde): Nostalgia, workers’ health, and occupational identity
Elena Dinubila (Université de Bordeaux): Cleaning up the past from nuclear legacy. Employment issues and environmental concerns in a town of Southern Italy
Melinda Harlov-Csortán (Institute of Advanced Studies, Kőszeg / University of Pannonia): Memorising the industrial utilisation of a natural element: Where has the workers’ memory gone?

Environmental and Social Impacts of Mining in Time and Space I
Chair: Leda Papastefanaki (University of Ioannina / Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymno)

Rossana Barragán (International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam), Paula Zagalsky (National Council of Scientific and Technical Research, CONICET /University of Buenos Aires): Potosí and its logic of long-term extraction
Gabriele Marcon (European University Institute, Florence): Timber, food, and metals: Comparing impacts of mining extraction in two early modern Italian districts, 1400–1800
Juan D. Pérez-Cebada (Universidad de Huelva), Pedro G. Silva (Universidade do Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro): Farmers, miners, and pollution

Negotiation of Labour Migrants’ Rights: Actors, Institutions, and Contentions
Chair: Rory Archer (University of Konstanz / University of Graz)

Jessica Richter (Institute of Rural History, St. Pölten): Seasonal labour migration on an increasingly nationalised labour market (Austria, 1918–1938)
Federico Del Giudice (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa / École des hautes études des sciences sociales, Paris): Claiming social rights: Migrant workers in the French and Argentinian labour courts during the interwar period
Emmanuel Comte (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs): Migrant workers’ rights to welfare benefits: The development of a European Community regime, 1954–1986

Writers’ Workshop I: Palgrave Handbook of Global Slavery (ed. Damian Pargas/Juliane Schiel)
Chair: Juliane Schiel (University of Vienna)

In Other People’s Households: Children and Early Youth as Rural Servants and Live-in Apprentices in the Past
Chair: Manuela Martini (Université Lumière Lyon 2 / Institut Universitaire de France), Maria Papathanassiou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Discussant: Manuela Martini (Université Lumière Lyon 2 / Institut Universitaire de France)
Maria Papathanassiou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens): Growing up in rural Europe: Reflections on the functioning and the experience of rural service (19th and early 20th centuries)
James Fisher (University of Exeter): “The Arts of Honest Industry”: Pauper apprenticeship and training for the labouring poor in early modern England
Styliani Chatzopoulou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens): Minors as rural servants and live-in apprentices in early modern and modern English broadside ballads
Paola A. Revilla Orías (Bolivian Catholic University of San Pablo / University of Bonn): Moving to your place: Guardianship and unfree labour of indigenous and Afro-descendant children and youth (Charcas, 16th–18th centuries)

European Trade Unions and the Economic and Monetary Union
Chair: Sigfrido Ramírez Pérez (Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, Frankfurt a. M.)

Claude Roccati (Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne): The European Monetary Union and the diverging positions of European trade unionism: The French case
Marvin Schnippering (University of Glasgow): From the struggle of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) for the social dimension of European integration, 1970–1992

Labour and Decolonisation I
Chair: Joe Redmayne (Newcastle University)

Limin Teh (Leiden University), Duncan Money (Leiden University): Decolonisation at work: A comparative history of mining labour on the Central African Copperbelt and the Fushun coalfields, c. 1946–1970
Adrien Rodd (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines): Labour and empire in the independence movement in Fiji

Transnational Perspectives on Labour Processes and Labour Relations
Chair: Aslı Odman (Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul)

Leo Grob (University of Bern): Fixing the social factory: A case study from Australia’s aluminium industry in the 1960s
Prerna Agarwal (Indian Institute of Sciences, Bengaluru): The construction of sangh-shakti (union power): The port of Calcutta in the 1930s
Bridget Kenny (University of the Witwatersrand): Material circuits: The global and local production and repair of elevator parts as urban infrastructure for Johannesburg, South Africa, 1940s–2020
Nicola Pizzolato (Middlesex University, London), Ilaria Favretto (Kingston University, London): Towards an auditory history of the factory: Noise as a working-class experience

Resisting Military Labour Aula
Chair: Fia Sundevall (Stockholm University)

Matt Perry (Newcastle University): Mutinous senses: A sensory history of the Black Sea Mutiny of 1919
Domna Koffa (Greek National Centre of Social Research), Sissy Tsavdara, Panteion University): Special court martials during the Greek Civil War (1946–1949)
Jeongmin Kim (University of Manitoba): Labour of protesting: The Korean dock workers’ wartime strike of 1951
Malte Meyer (Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg): The global G.I. movement against the Vietnam War
Olli Siitonen (University of Helsinki): To kill or not to kill: American experiences of resisting and participating in deadly violence during the Vietnam War

Nautical Education and the Training of the Workforce
Chair: Enric García-Domingo (University of Barcelona)

Anna Sydorenko (Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymno): From maritime communities to nautical schools: The transformation of the labour force of the Russian Steam Navigation and Trading Company (1856–1914)
Matteo Barbano (Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymno): Maritime labour in the age of transition: The Austrian Lloyd, Trieste, and the rise of steam
Enric García-Domingo (University of Barcelona): Learning on the job: How to become a ship engineer (Spain, 1834–1925)
Kristof Loockx (University of Antwerp): Re-educating seafarers: The practice of magic lantern shows in combating the deterioration of seamanship during the shipping transition, 1870–1920

Migration Regimes and Policies: Atlantic and Western European Experiences
Chair: Rory Archer (University of Konstanz / University of Graz)

Christoph Rass (Osnabrück University), Julie Weise (University of Oregon): Migrating concepts: The transatlantic origins of the Mexico–U.S. Bracero Program, 1919–1942
Nina Trige Andersen (Danish Society for Labour History, Copenhagen): Easily trained and replaced. How the demand for so-called unskilled labour in Western economies shaped the labour export policies of the Philippines from the 1970s
Claudia Bernardi (Roma Tre Università): The valorisation of labour mobility in 20th century North America II SR 1

Women Workers as Writers and Witnesses: Voices from 20th Century-Europe and North America
Chair: Eloisa Betti (University of Bologna)
Discussant: Susan Zimmermann (Central European University, Vienna)

Kostas Tziaras (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): Labour women: Talking in front of the court during the interwar period in Greece
Burcu Saka (Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University) / Meral Akbaş (Middle East Technical University, Ankara): Hidden memory: Life stories of women workers in Turkey
Christos Efstathiou (Kaplan International College, London / University of Warwick): Female voices in the “Left Review”: Working-class women writers in 1930s-Britain
Peter Moser (Archives of Rural History, Bern): Writing about working: The pluriactivity of female farmers in Ireland and Switzerland reflected in the writings of Elizabeth Bobbett, Augusta Gillabert-Randin, and Mina Hofstetter
Eileen Boris (University of California, Santa Barbara): Dora’s Story

Remembering Toxic Pasts? Memory, Deindustrialisation, and the Environment II
Chair: Roberta Garruccio (Universitá degli Studi di Milano)

Martin Baumert (Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum): Creators of a socialist landscape: Regeneration of open cast mines in the German Democratic Republic
Martin Babička (University of Oxford): Sulphurous atmosphere: Forests, factories, and Czechs after 1989
Lachlan MacKinnon (Cape Breton University, Halifax): Toxic Discourse: Community Environmentalisms and Deindustrialisation in Nova Scotia, Canada
Janine Schemmer (University of Klagenfurt): Protect the lagoon: Cruise infrastructures, environmental damage, and protest in Venice

Environmental and Social Impacts of Mining in Time and Space II
Chair: Rossana Barragán (International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam)

Francesca Sanna (Université Gustave Eiffel, Champs-sur-Marne): The environmental mining impact in the Mediterranean, first half of the 20th century
Leda Papastefanaki (University of Ioannina / Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymno): The sea, the forest, the village: The economic, social, and environmental impact of mining in north Euboea, Greece (1860s–2000s)

Historicising Labour Migration in Europe’s South and East
Chair: Yannis Papadopoulos (University of Brasilia)

Maria Fragkou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): Globalisation and labour institutions in times of crisis: Intersectional and transnational directions, 1920–1940
Ivaylo Naydenov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia): Bulgarian migrants as labour force in the Danubian Principalities / Romania during the 19th century
Kristina Toplak (ZRC SAZU, Slovenian Migration Institute): Artists as labour migrants in the EU

From European Trade Unions to Social Europe
Chair: Claude Roccati (Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Nicolas Verschueren (Université libre de Bruxelles): Social rights in the European Union (1960–2020): From market to social citizenship and back?
Sigfrido Ramírez Pérez (Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main): European trade unions and the cycles of social Europe (1950–2020)

Bargaining and Labour Negotiation
Chair: Andrea Caracausi (University of Padua)

Discussant: Corine Maitte (Université Gustave Eiffel, Champs-sur-Marne)
Matthieu Scherman (Université Gustave Eiffel, Champs-sur-Marne): How to apprehend conflicts about remuneration from non-judicial archives? Views from the Italian context in the 15th century
Thomas Max Safley (University of Pennsylvania): Wages, guilds, and strikes: The connection between remuneration, organisation, and action in early modern mining
José Antolin Nieto (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid): Apprentices or salaried workers? On artisan retribution in Latin America, 16th–18th centuries

Labour and Decolonisation II
Chair: Alejandro Gomez-Pernia (Université de Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle

Nick Owen (University of Oxford): Visual encounters with colonial violence in India
Yann Béliard (Université Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle) / Gareth Curless (University of Exeter): Towards a people’s history of British decolonisation

Narrating the Socialist Factory: Between History, Myth, and Memory
Chair: Lars K. Christensen (Museums of Elsinore)

James Allen Nealy (Duke University, Durham): Flexible production with socialist characteristics in the Soviet Union: The case of the Shchekino Chemical Combine, 1967–1971
Claudio Morrison (Middlesex University, London): Rethinking the Soviet Factory: History and the epistemology of post-socialism
Maja Jović (University of Zagreb): Memory and oblivion of the Borovo factory

Recruiting Military Labour I
Chair: Christine de Matos (The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney)

Nathan Wise (University of New England): Custom and contract in the second Maine volunteer infantry regiment during the American Civil War
Edilson Nunes S. Junior (Fluminense Federal University, Niterói): Forced recruitment for the Imperial Navy: The jurisdictions’ conflicts and the “manhunt” of whites and non-whites in Rio de Janeiro during the Paraguayan War (1865–1867)
Alexandros Touloumtzidis (University of Patras): The Recruitment of Greek-speaking Macedonians and refugee unskilled labourers from the British Salonika force on the Macedonian front, 1915–1918.
Leslie-William T. Robinson (Brown University, Providence): Morale and the façade of consent: Innovating affective labour practices of control in the World War I US Army

Conflict on the Waterfront
Chair: Jordi Ibarz (University of Barcelona)

Thomas Kalesios (University of Crete): Dockworkers of Piraeus during a period of perpetual turmoil (1909–1922)
Jordi Ibarz (University of Barcelona): Dockworkers and the Barcelona “Yellow Fever” epidemic of 1870
Camilo Santibáñez Rebolledo (Universidad de Santiago de Chile): Ratas y pollos: The union administration of casual employment on the Chilean docks; Valparaíso, 1960–1980
Varvarigos Pothitos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): Policing a port: The institutional organisation of anticommunism in the port of Thessaloniki after the civil war (1950–1974)
Diane Kirkby (University of Technology Sydney): Maritime unionists and the deportation crisis, Australia, 1925

Contemporary Labour Migration in South-Eastern Europe
Chair: Sara Bernard (University of Glasgow)

Mojca Vah Jevšnik (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts / University of Nova Gorica): The public healthcare system of intensive care: Challenges posed by the migration of healthcare workers in Slovenia from a historical perspective
Katarina Štrangarov (University of Graz): Return migration in Southeastern Europe: Current trends and prospects for future research

Rural Women Workers on the Peripheries in the 20th Century: Economic Roles and Forms of Agency
Chair: Leda Papastefanaki (University of Ioannina / Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymno)

Discussant: Alexandra Ghit (Central European University, Vienna)
Ángel Pascual Martínez Soto (University of Murcia), Miguel Pérez de Perceval Verde (University of Murcia), Eva Trescastro López (University of Alicante): The political and union participation of female agriculture workers in southeast Spain and its effects on the wage gap, 1914–1936
Meta Remec (Institute of Contemporary History, Ljubljana): “Women will lead our way!” Women in the changing rural society of Socialist Slovenia
Husseina Dinani (University of Toronto Scarborough): The gendered politics of cooperative farming in Socialist Southern Tanzania, 1960s–1980s
Oluranti Ojo Edward (University of Abuja & Saibu / Anchor University Lagos): Beninese female labour migrants and their impact on sustainable agricultural development and food security in Ogun State, Nigeria, 1960–2000
Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh (National University of Ireland): Women and the agricultural extension service in Ireland during the 20th century

Remembering Toxic Pasts? Memory, Deindustrialisation, and the Environment III
Chair: Stefan Moitra (Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum)

Discussant: Anna Storm (Linköping University)
Renaud Bécot (PACTE / Sciences Po Grenoble): How different was a petrochemical explosion from a mining disaster? Labour activism and the reshaping of a disaster memory in a deindustrialised and warming world, Feyzin (1966) and La Mure (1971)
Regina Göschl (Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum): Deindustrial regeneration, environmental history, and the museum
Pim Huijnen (Utrecht University) / Marin Kuijt (Leiden University) / Gertjan Plets (Utrecht University): Towards a critical historical culture of Dutch oil and gas history: aims, challenges, and politics of writing a counter history in a corporate funded heritage arena
Jan Kellershohn (Institut für Landesgeschichte Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle an der Saale): Dialectics of Destruction. Open Cast Lignite Mining and Paleontological Temporalities in the 20th Century

Economic and Social Impacts of Mining: The Case of Spain
Chair: José Joaquín García Gómez (Universidad de Almería)

Ángel Pascual Martínez Soto (University of Murcia) / Lluís Torró Gil (University of Alicante) / Miguel Á. Pérez de Perceval Verde (University of Murcia) / Ignacio Suay-Matallana (Miguel Hernández University of Elche): Labour markets formation during the Golden Age of Spanish mining (1850–1920): Evolution and specificities of the labour force
Andrés Sá nchez-Picón (Universidad de Almería) / Víctor Luque de Haro (Universidad de Almería) / María del Carmen Pérez Artés (Universidad de Almería) / María José, Mora Mayoral (Universidad de Almería): Migratory networks in the configuration of mining communities in Spain in the 19th century: Linares (1840–1890)
Adrian Palacios (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim): Education and the mining industry in Spain in the late 19th century

Remuneration and Everyday Life
Chair: Andrea Caracausi (University of Padua)

Discussant: Amal Shahid (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
Thanasis Betas (Research Center for the Humanities, Athens): Marital status, living conditions, and survival strategies of male and female workers in the Greek tobacco industry, 1950–1970
Matthieu Scherman (Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée), Corine Maitte (Université Gustave Eiffel, Champs-sur-Marne): Presentation of the meeting about remuneration and political authorities
Ramon Molina de Dios (University of the Balearic Islands): Monetary and non-monetary remuneration for work on agricultural holdings on the Island of Mallorca (1860–1960)

Migrant Voices: Labour Migrant Identities and Self-Representations
Chair: Sara Bernard (University of Glasgow)

Alexandra Dellios (Australian National University, Canberra): The 1970s migrant workers conferences and histories of multiculturalism
Elena Bouleti (Panteion University, Athens): Greek and Turkish Cypriots fleeing to Great Britain in the 1960s and 1970s: Refugees, migrants, and displaced Cypriots that transformed the Cypriot diaspora
Juliette Ronsin (Institut d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, Paris): Yugoslavian immigration to France through work experience in the Peugeot company, from the 1960s to the present

Book Launch: Global Commodity Chains and Labour Relations
Chair: Karin Fischer (University of Linz)
Andrea Komlosy (University of Vienna), Goran Music (University of Vienna): Presentation of the collected volume “Global Commodity Chains and Labour Relations

Digital Humanities and Factory History: Texts, Images, Sounds
Chair: Bridget Kenny (University of the Witwatersrand)

Rick Halpern (University of Toronto): Labour history, factory history, and the promise of Digital Humanities
Görkem Akgöz (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin): Spaces of national modernity: Factories and the labouring female body in early republican Turkey
Aslı Odman (Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul), Murat Tülek (Kadir Has University, Istanbul): Tracing factory labour in the urban tissue of Istanbul during the interwar period through critical cartographical research

Qualifying and Disqualifying Older People’s Work
Chair: Claire Barillé (University of Lille)

Marie Derrien (University of Lille) / Mathilde Rossigneux-Méheust (University of Lyon 2): Caring for the insane: A disqualified job? Gender and age in workers of the French psychiatric family care system
Sandra Harrisson (University of Ottawa): Domestic work: An assessment tool for psychological well-being among older women, 1976–2006
Claire Barillé (University of Lille): Fighting to get back what is owed to you: The association of former employees of the Paindavoine companies (1966–1980)
Martin Sarzier (Université de Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne): Making old age work: An analysis of practices of patients’ “stimulation” in geriatric psychiatry

Recruiting Military Labour II
Chair: Olli Siitonen (University of Helsinki)

Limasenla Jamir (Tata Institute of Social Sciences): Carrying loads, building roads: Recruiting military labour in the China-Burma-India Theatre during the Second World War
Bettina Blum (Paderborn University): The military as an international labour market? German civilians working for the British Forces in Germany, 1945–2019
Zsolt Máté (University of Pécs): Translators, transporters, organisers: The US Army’s tasks in the Operation Mercy, 1956–1957
Sanna Strand (Stockholm University) / Fia Sundevall (Stockholm University): Selling soldiering: How a downsizing, male-dominated job market was promoted to young women in 1990s Norway and Sweden

Labour Conditions and Living Standards
Chair: Enric García-Domingo (University of Barcelona)

Shai Srougo (University of Haifa): The Jewish maritime experience in World War II: The economic depression at the Thessaloniki waterfront during Greek neutrality
Christos Stefanopoulos (Panteion University): “… leaving a few thousand seafarers on the waterfront to starve”: The impact of the 1929 crisis on the shipping and seafarers of Piraeus
Luisa Muñoz-Abeledo (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela) / Verónica Cañal (Universidad de Oviedo): Living standards of working families from North Spanish port cities during the 1940s

Narrating Yugoslav Worlds of Work
Chair: Sara Bernard (University of Glasgow)

Brigitte Le Normand (Maastricht University): Yugoslav labour migrants and the world of work, in their own words
Sara Bernard (University of Glasgow) / Vladimir Unkovski-Korica (University of Glasgow): Self-managing abroad and at home: Biographical trajectories of Energoprojekt employees from the late Cold War to today
Rory Archer (University of Konstanz / University of Graz) / Mladen Zobec (University of Graz): Capitalist entrepreneurs in a socialist state: Albanian private business owners and workers in the Yugoslav Northwest

Recording and Analysing: Audiovisual Archives of Work // Inventorier et analyser les archives audiovisuelles du travail
Chair: Michael Sanders (King’s College, London)

Luisa Veloso (Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia, Lisboa / University Institute of Lisbon) / Frédéric Vidal (Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa): Cinema and work: A framework proposal for researching work on screen
Luisa Veloso (Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia, Lisboa / University Institute of Lisbon) / Telmo Clamote (Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia, Lisbon): Film representations of medicine and nursing: Shaping the social visibility of science and professions
Raffaella Biscioni (University of Bologna): Photographic archives of the world of work in Italy between past and present

Economic and Social Impacts of Mining: Case Studies from USA, Africa, and Europe
Chairs: Francesca Sanna (Université Gustave Eiffel, Champs-sur-Marne) / Gabriele Marcon (European University Institute, Florence)

Dácil Juif (Universidad Carlos III, Madrid): Unravelling the resource curse: The impact of mining activities on local human welfare and within-country inequality, 1920s–2000s
John Murray (Rhodes College, Memphis) / Javier Silvestre (Universidad de Zaragoza): Determinants in the adoption of a non labour-substitution technology: Mechanical ventilation in West Virginia coal mines, 1898–1906
Pieter Troch (Ghent University): Contextualising social and ethnopolitical unrest in late socialist Kosovo against the life cycle of mining

When Social Actors Make the Experience of Work Audible and Visible // Dire et rendre visibles les experiences de travail par les acteurs sociaux
Chair: Nathalie Ponsard (Université Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines) / Anna Pellegrino (University of Bologna) / Clément Plée (University of Clermont Auvergne): Impressions et stigmates du travail dans la pratique musicale populaire de Bretagne au temps de la Révolution française

Anna Pellegrino (University of Bologna): Écouter les femmes de “ la Proletaria”: vendeuses, associées, administratrices 1944–2000
T. G. Ashplant (King’s College London): Accessing the power of the press: The campaigning journalism of Ada Nield Chew, the “Crewe Factory Girl”
Caroline Lardy (Université Clermont Auvergne): Filmer les processus de production industriels du point de vue des travailleurs

Labour Immigrants in Cities: Complexities of Integration
Chair: Sara Bernard (University of Glasgow)

Maria Arvaniti (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens): A study of the Greek-Orthodox migrant workforce of Istanbul during a period of crisis (1821)
Enrique Tudela Vázquez (Barcelona): New hands for the city: Labour integration of southern migrants in Barcelona during Francoism
Walter L. Koppmann (Universidad de Buenos Aires): The Jewish working class of Buenos Aires, 1905–1930
Francesca Rolandi (University of British Columbia Okanagan / Center for Advanced Studies Rijeka): Čovjek bez svog kuta: Labour migration, settlement dynamics, and housing in post-World War II Rijeka

Gendering Labour Migration History in 20th Century Europe
Chair: Rory Archer (University of Konstanz / University of Graz)

Conchi Villar (University of Barcelona): Barcelona 1930, the pattern of a feminised city during industrialisation in Southern Europe
Sheena Trimble (Université catholique de l’Ouest, Angers): Women and Canada’s labour migration schemes for post-World War II displaced Europeans
Yannis Papadopoulos (University of Brasilia) / Giota Tourgeli (Panteion University, Athens): Gendering migration in a traditional society: Assisted female migration from Greece during the early postwar period

WORCK Conference Day

Chair: Laura Šukarov-Eischer (University of Vienna)

Mickael Pero (COST Science Officer, Brussels): Welcome address
Juliane Schiel (University of Vienna) / Johan Heinsen (Aalborg University): Historicising the concept of Europe in global history
Margareth Lanzinger (University of Vienna): Researching social inequalities at the University of Vienna

Historical Perspectives on Social Inequality in Europe
Chair: Juliane Schiel (University of Vienna)
Discussants: Guido Alfani (Bocconi University) / Dietlind Hüchtker (University of Vienna)

Contemporary Perspectives on Social Inequalities in Europe
Chair: Johan Heinsen (Aalborg University)
Discussants: Manuela Boatcă (University of Freiburg) / Devi Sacchetto (University of Padua)

Confronting Research Fields of European and Global History: Servitude and Household Service in Europe and the Globe
Chair: Christian G. De Vito (University of Bonn)
Discussants: Maria Ågren (Uppsala University) / Nitin Varma (Humboldt-University of Berlin)

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